h1347698
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Hi,

If I were to get lower than acceptable grades for my uni course, and had to choose between a foundation year or retake year 13, what would you do and why. This situation would clearly be the result of disappointing grades.

Obviously it will depend on what exact grades I get. Say just one of my A levels is really low, the others reasonable. What should I do if given the option above? What if the grades were even worse?

I wonder if it would ever be possible to do a foundation year and also come back to school in the summer and retake an exam. I expect this to be impossible or ridiculous?

I don't think I would bother with clearing if my grades are lower than my course and foundation requirements.

I'm also concerned as to whether my school would allow me to retake a year or resit exams at all.
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xturqz
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Personally I would do the foundation year because surely you would rather be at uni than doing the same thing again, stuck at school.
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h1347698
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(Original post by xturqz)
Personally I would do the foundation year because surely you would rather be at uni than doing the same thing again, stuck at school.
Absolutely I would, but might a bad A level cause job application problems in future?
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Moonschool
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(Original post by h1347698)
Absolutely I would, but might a bad A level cause job application problems in future?
Not if you have a good enough degree
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xturqz
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(Original post by h1347698)
Absolutely I would, but might a bad A level cause job application problems in future?
Unless a job is specifically asking for certain A-levels, then probably not. They'd be more interested in the degree you have because that's most likely going to be more relevant to them.
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luckystars
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I'd take a gap year and retake. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't taking a foundation course using up a year of student finance?
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by luckystars)
I'd take a gap year and retake. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't taking a foundation course using up a year of student finance?
It is yes.
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storm95
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foundation year is 1000000x easier than a levels so you have a guaranteed place at uni. drawback is that it is an extra year of loan to pay back but its worth it
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by storm95)
foundation year is 1000000x easier than a levels so you have a guaranteed place at uni. drawback is that it is an extra year of loan to pay back but its worth it

That's going to depend massively on the foundation year course, the uni and the a-levels you're comparing it to.
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storm95
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(Original post by h1347698)
Absolutely I would, but might a bad A level cause job application problems in future?
only a few grad schemes ask for it, best thing is to have experience under your belt in today's society. well that is depending on what you'll study.
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h1347698
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(Original post by luckystars)
I'd take a gap year and retake. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't taking a foundation course using up a year of student finance?
Yes, I would end up with an extra year of debt. But that extra year could be worth a lot in terms of doing well in subsequent years of the course.
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by h1347698)
Yes, I would end up with an extra year of debt. But that extra year could be worth a lot in terms of doing well in subsequent years of the course.
It's worth pointing out that since your foundation year uses up a year of your student finance, you essentially use you "gift year" which means that once you start on your bachelors you'll be using up the only other 3 years of student finance you're entitled to (except in the cases of extended courses where you are entitled to more years, but the point still stands). So if you find out you don't like the course and want to change (but it;s too late in the academic year to switch courses) then tough luck. You'll no longer be fully funded to start a new course. Because you used up your gift year on your foundation.

This is what happened to me. Didn't realise I had chosen the wrong course til half way through my first year of my bachelors post foundation. Too late by then, it was either that degree or no degree. Because I couldn't find a way to become funded for another course.

Basically what I am trying to say, is choose very carefully. Make sure you definitely want to do the course. Don't choose one on a whim.
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annablagg
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(Original post by h1347698)
Hi,

If I were to get lower than acceptable grades for my uni course, and had to choose between a foundation year or retake year 13, what would you do and why. This situation would clearly be the result of disappointing grades.

Obviously it will depend on what exact grades I get. Say just one of my A levels is really low, the others reasonable. What should I do if given the option above? What if the grades were even worse?

I wonder if it would ever be possible to do a foundation year and also come back to school in the summer and retake an exam. I expect this to be impossible or ridiculous?

I don't think I would bother with clearing if my grades are lower than my course and foundation requirements.

I'm also concerned as to whether my school would allow me to retake a year or resit exams at all.
Hey,

Personally, I would go for the foundation year - you will learn new things, in a new environment, and not have to repeat a full year at school.
As others have mentioned, don't worry too much about using up a year of your student finance - it will be seen as your gift year, so you will still have 3 more years of support after the foundation course has finished.

Just to add - Hallam offers a variety of 'extended degree programmes', that can provide you with an alternative route into undergraduate level of study. If you're interested, here's the website:
https://www.shu.ac.uk/study-here/extended-degrees

Also, can I ask why you're not wanting to go through clearing?

Hope this helps and Good luck
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LawlietOrMello
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
That's going to depend massively on the foundation year course, the uni and the a-levels you're comparing it to.
(Original post by SophieSmall)
It's worth pointing out that since your foundation year uses up a year of your student finance, you essentially use you "gift year" which means that once you start on your bachelors you'll be using up the only other 3 years of student finance you're entitled to (except in the cases of extended courses where you are entitled to more years, but the point still stands). So if you find out you don't like the course and want to change (but it;s too late in the academic year to switch courses) then tough luck. You'll no longer be fully funded to start a new course. Because you used up your gift year on your foundation.

This is what happened to me. Didn't realise I had chosen the wrong course til half way through my first year of my bachelors post foundation. Too late by then, it was either that degree or no degree. Because I couldn't find a way to become funded for another course.
I think you underestimate how easy the foundation years can be. I did one for engineering and averaged 74% (needed 60% to pass) despite only attending around 14% of lectures lol. And this was at a good uni too. Obviously it's not like I'm a genius otherwise I wouldn't be on the foundation year in the first place. My point is i highly doubt there's any foundation years harder than A levels.

On the topic of finance, you're half correct. It can use up a gift year in finance. But only if your degree isn't integrated. Some unis have a foundation year integrated into the actual course. So it's like a year 0. And rather than it being a gift year before starting your proper degree, it'd just be like doing a 4 (or 5) year degree.

Obviously you'd have to check individually with each uni though. When I was filling in a degree choice on student finance, I was told to click the option that says engineering with foundation year and select my starting year as 1.
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h1347698
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(Original post by annablagg)
Also, can I ask why you're not wanting to go through clearing?
I only need C's to do the foundation year. If I don't get that then it's retake or something else. I just don't think clearing would be worth it if I did worse than that.

Thanks for the link, I'll look into that.
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by LawlietOrMello)
I think you underestimate how easy the foundation years can be. I did one for engineering and averaged 74% (needed 60% to pass) despite only attending around 14% of lectures lol. And this was at a good uni too. Obviously it's not like I'm a genius otherwise I wouldn't be on the foundation year in the first place. My point is i highly doubt there's any foundation years harder than A levels.

On the topic of finance, you're half correct. It can use up a gift year in finance. But only if your degree isn't integrated. Some unis have a foundation year integrated into the actual course. So it's like a year 0. And rather than it being a gift year before starting your proper degree, it'd just be like doing a 4 (or 5) year degree.

Obviously you'd have to check individually with each uni though. When I was filling in a degree choice on student finance, I was told to click the option that says engineering with foundation year and select my starting year as 1.
I did a foundation year.

And yes if it is integrated it counts as a year of that degree. But the point still stands, in that if you decide you don't want to do the degree it was integrated for you don't have many options in changing your degree after that. Because your foundation was geared towards that degree, and can usually only be accepted at the university you took it at, or at another university for a very similar degree. So if you decide that degree isn't for you, you may find the foundation year useless when looking to start another course. If you realise the degree isn't for you after finishing your foundation and have started the bachelors then at that point you are on your second year of funding. Good luck getting a new degree fully funded.

This is exactly what happened to me.
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Ifonly...
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Foundation all day. I know someone who got a D at 1 of their A level's(biology), Got BB in two others.

Done their Foundation, walked away with a 1st four years down the road in Microbiology..

Working for the NHS now, loving the work, on around £30k a year. 25 years of age.

She said for some reason or other she messed up at A level, She knew all that was required it just happened that way on the day.

Foundation gave her time to take stock, get a part time job, Loved the year and gave her better indication of what she wanted to do.

I realize its extra funding, but that should be the least of your worries IMO.
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Historian1789
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If your University offers Foundation on your course, then do Foundation.
1. Foundation is always easier then A-levels and almost guarantees you a place
2. You got to experience university life without being stuck in college
3. If you won't like your Uni, you can reapply to start a degree in another one. A lot of Universities accept Foundation as a requirement for degree programmes.

Good luck!
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